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Community Engaged Service Learning

DANCE ACTIVISM = EMPOWERMENT

LET'S MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THROUGH DANCE 

CSUSM's Dance Studies program inspires and motivates students to find new ways to bring dance into practical engagement with the local community.  Dance is more than a series of steps. Dance brings communities together, expands out creative capacity and motivates life-long learning skills.   

Dance Studies has proudly forged two Community Engaged Partnership for CSUSM- A partnership with A Step Beyond and a partnership with The George G. Glenner Family Center. 

A STEP BEYOND-PARTNERSHIP 

A Step Beyond Website

Since 2015, CSUSM students enact social change through thoughtful moving interactions with youth at A Step Beyond (ASB) in Escondido. ASB serves low-income students in the neighborhoods of Escondido and San Marcos. Through dance, academic and family services, ASB students receive the support necessary to graduate high school and go onto college. 

By enrolling in DNCE 440: Teaching Dance in the Community, CSUSM students learn how to teach creative movement tot youth. Though team-teaching under mentored support by faculty at CSUSM and ASB, everyone wins through the collective experience. Being seen as mentors, we inspire younger students on a path to college.  

This partnership has expanded to include internships, jobs, shared artist residencies and performance opportunities for youth on our campus.  

"I love dancing with the college students because when they are here I learn more and more."  - A Step Beyond Student 
"What I love most is the opportunity to share my work in dance and act as a positive role model. Teaching dance to ASB kids has opened my eyes to future possibilities."  CSUSM Dance Studies Student  

A Step Beyond Partnership Photos

Photos courtesy of: Long Truong, CSUSM Student 

THE GEORGE G. GLENNER ALZHEIMER’S FAMILY CENTER-PARTNERSHIP 

The Glenner Center Website

 In 2019, Dance Studies launched a partnership with two George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, including TOWN SQUARE®, a Chula Vista day center for immersive Reminiscence Therapy that utilizes tangible prompts from a participant’s past to elicit familiar memories from their youth. Dance Studies was invited to create and perform a veteran's day performance to ignite their memories and honor those that serve.  

"It was an opportunity to combine my compassion as a human, my drive for activism, and my skills as a dancer to impact the lives of others."  - Minnie Atkins'

What began as simply an invited performance evolved into a celebratory experiences of set choreography, lively improvisation and interactive multi-generational dance parties. 

“I do feel like this experience was relevant to our current cultural climate because we brought back elements from a different era in time as the people we are, with the bodies we have. We didn’t feel the need to imitate history, because we renewed it.” - Lesly Rodriguez 

This opportunity was created in Dance Studies 400: The Performance Lab. Dance Studies 400 is about experimentation and also houses The Experimental Dance Project.

The George G. Glenner Center Family Center Photos

Photos courtesy of: Long Truong, CSUSM Student 

Related News Features 

https://news.csusm.edu/karen-schaffman/ 

https://fidm.edu/en/about/educator-outreach/educator-spotlight/CSUSM+Professor+Karen+Schaffman